49 Muhammad Ali Quotes To Get you Fired Up

Many consider Muhammad Ali the greatest boxer of all time. Muhammad, won the World Heavyweight Championship three times. He was from the US.

The referee and two young boxers. The referee is raising Muhammad Ali's arm, meaning Ali has won the match.

“No one starts out on top. You have to work your way up.”

-Muhammad

Muhammad winning a match at the 1960 Olympics.
(Photo: Wikimedia/Public domain)

“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” 

Muhammad Ali

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’m not the greatest, I’m the double greatest.”

Muhammad Ali

“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammed in his thirties. He is wearing plain clothes, standing still, and looking ahead. He has a ceremonial flower necklace around his neck.

“Each time I thought I had achieved my ‘life’s purpose,’ I discovered it was only another step in my journey.”

-Muhammad

(Photo: srichinmoycentre.org/CCBYSA3.0)

“It’s funny, but those who hate me the most sometimes inspire me the most.” 

Muhammad Ali

“The critics only made me work harder.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

Muhammad Ali

“I don’t get hit. I’m the fastest thing on two feet, man!”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad in his robe after a fight.

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

-Muhammad

(Photo: PA/Public domain)

“I wrestled with an alligator, I tussled with a whale, handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beaten.” 

Muhammad Ali

“Look at me. Look at my nose, perfect shape; lips, face. Now I’m not boasting, but it’s hard to be humble when you’re as pretty as I am.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad holding his baby kindly.

“At home, I am a nice guy.”

-Muhammad

Muhammad with his child in the United Kingdom.
(Photo: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums/Public domain)

“I don’t trust anyone who’s nice to me but rude to a waiter because they would treat me the same if I were in that position.”

Muhammad Ali

“Rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams -they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”

Muhammad Ali

“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’m not impressed by limitations. See, Columbus would not have discovered America if he had not believed. They told him, ‘Don’t go, Columbus. You’re a fool. You’ll fall off the ocean. The world is flat, you understand?’ But he went ahead. See, he who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Muhammad Ali
A boxing match. Muhammad is hitting another man in the face.

Muhammad fighting Brian London. (Photo: PA/Public domain)

“Risk is why they are paying me so much money.”

Muhammad Ali

“Put yourself out on a limb, like me!”

Muhammad Ali

“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Muhammad Ali

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If not, pretend you are.” 

Muhammad Ali
Four young athletes on a podium in a stadium. They are all wearing medals. Muhammad is on the highest step of the podium; he has won the gold.

Muhammed Ali in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. He won the gold in the light heavyweight boxing division.
(Photo: Polish Press Agency (PAP)/Public domain)

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’ve never let anyone talk me into not believing in myself.”

Muhammad Ali

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” 

Muhammad Ali
Close-up of Muhammad's face. He looks angry. He has curly, cropped, black hair; he has bushy, straight eyebrows; deep-set eyes; a small, broad nose; a smallish mouth with full lips; a rounded chin. His face is very symmetrical. He is of African descent.

“If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize.”

-Muhammad

(Photo: Ira Rosenberg/Public domain)

“It will be a killer, and a chiller, and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manila.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’m the greatest thing that ever lived! I’m the king of the world! I’m a bad man. I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived.”

Muhammad Ali

“If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”

Muhammad Ali

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad, elegantly dressed, walking down a European street. He looks pensive.

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

-Muhammad

Muhammad in the Netherlands.
(Photo: Nationaal Archief NL/CCBYSA3.0)

“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.”

Muhammad Ali

“I hated every minute of training, but I said don’t quit suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champion.”

Muhammad Ali

“I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.” 

Muhammad Ali
A teenage Muhammad smiling, on the ring, next to his couch. The couch looks proudly at him.

Muhammad with his trainer, Joe E. Martin, in 1960.
(Photo: The Courier-Journal/Public domain)

“My style, my stamina, my system were molded down in the basement of a church in East End.”

Muhammad Ali

“Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

Muhammad Ali

“I may have been the best fighter, but I was also the poorest. I had never been able to afford a first-class mouthpiece to protect my teeth. I had to wait until other fighters finished so I could borrow their headgear, or their trunk or bandages.”

Muhammad Ali

“I do everything to make the fight come out my way. But if I’m defeated I have to get up and come back again no matter how humiliating the loss.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad looking at this swollen face on the mirror.

Muhammed with a swollen face. Photo taken a few days after he lost the match against Joe Frazier. March 22, 1971.
(Photo: AP Wirephoto/Public domain)

“I always bring out the best in men I fight, but Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I’m gonna tell ya, that’s one helluva man, and God bless him.”

Muhammad Ali

“There are no pleasures in a fight, but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.” 

Muhammad Ali

“Anywhere I go, there is always an incredible crowd that follows me. In Rome, as I land at the airport, even the men kiss me. I love Rome.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad, elegantly dressed, signs autographs for two young women. They are in the middle of a European street and other people have stopped to watch him.

Muhammed signing autographs in the Netherlands. March 8, 1976.
(Photo: Bert Verhoeff/Anefo/Public domain)

“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.”

Muhammad Ali

“I wanted to use my fame and this face that everyone knows so well to help uplift and inspire people around the world.”

Muhammad Ali

“I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.”

Muhammad Ali

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

Muhammad Ali
Inside a room. There is a line of police officers. Muhammad is pretending to box with one of them. All the offices are laughing.

Muhammed joking around with police officers in the United Kingdom. (Photo: West Midlands Police/Public domain)

“When you want to talk about who made me, you talk to me. Who made me, is me.” 

Muhammad Ali

“The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.”

Muhammad Ali

“I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right; as a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could; as a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what; as a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad and President Ford laughing. They are wearing suits, and the picture was taken in the White House.

Muhammad with President Gerald Ford of the US. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration/Public domain)

Which quote is the wittiest? And which photo is your favorite?

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2021-05-31
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